Using brand control to prevent a google slap

Branding
Branding

Why do we get slapped? Google prevents you from getting anymore AdWords traffic since they think you are not giving their clients (the world since it is Google we talk about) a good enough experience, simple as that. Hence, they prefer to lose you as a paying client but not to damage the good reputation they have, as the world leading search engine.

In the future i will talk a lot about what exactly means a “good enough experience”, but now let’s discuss Brand Control and how to avoid getting slapped after the manual review.

People often forget that Google is a search engine. They create a misleading website or one that offers poor customer experience and once they get slapped, they are surprised. How did Google find out about that? they ask. Guess what, Google is a search engine… if you send traffic to a website that violates AdWords terms, Google will know it, sooner or later.

So what can you do? Be honest in your business and control your brands!

What is Brand Control? Brand Control is the process where you constantly check your online brands, preventing damage to your reputation. Such damages could be done by bad comments in the forums, blogs giving you poor reviews, affiliate ads that destroy your reliability, links in your site that target problematic websites, other sites that share your IP and behave in such a way that causes Google to punish them etc.

True, it is hard and almost impossible to do it but monitoring your brand is important, so go to work! Start by making a list of your most important brands. It could be the website’s name, the “hero” that tells his story in the landing page video, the product’s name, the entity you have used for the ‘about’ and ‘contact’ sections or any name related to your business. Don’t forget to add to the list your real name and the name of your company, as stated in the “who is” database and your IP.

Once you got your list done, move to the next step and start to control your brands. It is easy to find visible potential problems with your brand, just search for it in Google and look at the first auto suggest results (the ones Google is showing under your search string, not the search results). If, such as, your brand is xyz and in the first auto suggest results you see items like “xyz scam“, “xyz exposed“, or anything else related to your industry, you are in trouble. An AdWords manual review is only a matter of time and you most likely won’t survive it!

What can you do? A lot!

Brand control has two main aspects: fixing your product/website and recovering your brand. While the first one is your main problem, recovering your brand is no less important. You may have the best product in the world, but if people take it as a scam, Google will remove it from AdWords. On the other side, a bad product with great reviews won’t help you either, so take control of both your product and your brands. Start by a simple Google search and check where are these bad reviews coming from. Then, contact each one of them, offer refunds, verify what was the problem, send your latest product for free and TALK to them. Do whatever needed, just get them replace their review with a more favorable one. Don’t forget your affiliates, check them closely.

The non-visible problems, like leads going out of your website, IP traps placed by your competitors who had also bought bad media links pointed to your website with “nice” anchor texts (to create a bad appearance of it) and such deep activities are harder to find. However, use the right tools and control your incoming and outgoing links as well, to avoid future problems.

In Ecclesiastes 7 it says “A good name is better than fine perfume,
and the day of death better than the day of birth.” Print it and put it on your wall, King Solomon’s Wisdom might just save your business one day.

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